A new study has found that one of the most common and convenient household appliances we own could be contributing to the development of childhood allergies and conditions.
The research, carried out by experts at the University of Gothenburg, found that children whose families washed their dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop skin conditions such as eczema and asthma.
Much like the new research relating to peanut allergies, published this week, this new study challenges pre-existing findings related to healthy immune systems.
Indeed, the study supports the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ which suggests that growing up in an immaculately clean environment can increase the risk of autoimmune conditions. With the hand-washing of dishes proven to be less effective in reducing the number of bacteria left on our ware and dishes, it’s more likely that children growing up in houses without dishwashers will be exposed (and thus, build up an immunity) to this bacteria.
Commenting on the research, which was published in the journal Paediatrics, researchers said: “We speculate that these lifestyle factors reduce allergy development via increased or more diverse microbial exposure, stimulating the immune system to develop in a more tolerant direction.”
This certainly provides some interesting food for thought, and we’ll be looking forward to further investigation on the topic.